The MSSA Agnew/Condray Excellence Award is named for our association’s founders, Russell Condray and Tom Agnew. It is an annual award presented to one person for their distinguished service, loyalty, and devotion. This award has been established by the MSSA Past Presidents to celebrate individuals that are persistent in their quest to identify new and better ways to serve our association and our industry by originating exceptional ideas; by developing innovative programs; and by volunteering their experience and leadership to make a positive impact and leave behind a legacy.
MSSA Past President, Cal Holt Nomination: I think every member of the association could and perhaps should write reasons for Karen to receive this award. Until her retirement, Karen was the face of MSSA. Our growth in membership and offerings as an association has built it into one of the best organizations in our industry. Her leadership and example set the pace for allowing free expression of our board and membership that have allowed an atmosphere of creativity that produced professional and individual growth. There is No doubt in my mind that she meets every criteria set for this honor.
MSSA Supply Distributor Director and Agnew Condray Recipient, Sean Schultz Nomination: I, too would like to nominate Karen Warr for the 2022 Agnew/Condray Excellence Award. I imagine I’m not the first. Karen was THE driving force behind the MSSA for 2 wonderful decades. She was just what our organization needed when she was hired on as the executive director. (Just like you! I might add..) To me her smiling face was the MSSA Logo! Her tireless effort and outgoing care for everyone, galvanized the family feel that is the MSSA!
MSSA Past President and Agnew Condray Recipient Mandy Wisner: I was lucky enough to be a part of the crew that hired Karen. She made the transition seamlessly. Her energy and zest for life were just the boost that MSSA needed at that time. Her dedication to our members and tireless efforts to the betterment of our industry as a whole are unparalleled. With all that being said, I think my favorite Karen story is from a meeting in Memphis years into her tenure, she invited some of her local friends to a reception, and one of them asked me what have yall done to our sweet little Karen!? Watching Karen grow into her role and gain that confidence just shows that MSSA always gives back to your more than you could ever give to the association.
MSSA Past President & 2022 ISA Chairman Michael Hage: My first show was in Little Rock, AR and I knew absolutely no one in the industry and it was very intimidating. Had it not been for Karen Warr, making me feel welcome and introducing me to others, I probably would not be here today. She always went out of her way to make new members feel welcomed. She is the epitome of what MSSA stands for and has been the backbone of the association and it’s membership for the last two decades. Her tireless efforts have made MSSA the recognized premier sign association in the industry!
MSSA Past President, Hall of fame and Agnew Condray Recipient David Watson: 20 years ago, when Karen and I first met, it was my first year to serve on the Board and her first year as our Executive Director. It was a brand-new experience for us and we immediately developed a relationship like no other. Her impact on MSSA is not only significant, but it was vital to our association's growth. Every sign association in North America, including Canada has reached out to me for decades to try and learn how to do what Karen does. My answer was always the same, "You can't". There's just no one like her".
Karen is a very special friend, and I am so thankful for her. She is a blessing and a light that has brightened more lives than she'll ever know.
Karen, I'm proud of you, I love you, and you are so deserving of this award.